Every school in Ohio hates Ohio State. Did you see how the Ohio University mascot went after Brutus last year? You saw hate in those big cartoony eyes. Pure, feral animal-mascot hate.
Hello: Joe Bolden
OH LB Joe Bolden has been openly favoring Michigan for a couple weeks, and talking about making a decision "at any time." Well, that time has come, and he is the newest member of Michigan's 2012 recruiting class. As he told Tom: "God told him in more than one way that Michigan was his home."
|4*, #27 OLB||NR OLB||NR ILB, 150 Watchlist||4*, 90, NR OLB|
Scout and 24/7 Sports both say the kid is 6-3, whereas Rivals and ESPN both think he's 6-2. Having seen the kid in person, I would guess that 6-3 is closer to the accurate number, despite my hesitance to trust Scout's measurement numbers. As for weight, Scout is the most optimistic at 230, 24/7 Sports says he's 220, and Rivals/ESPN split the difference at 225. We'll trust that average.
On to the evaluations. Starting with Scout, which asks Joe to describe his game:
“The linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. I think I’m a great leader and communicator. My voice is heard on the field and I play smart. I’m also a big hitter and when I make contact I drop and go through people. I can also move well sideline-to-sideline. My game is not perfect and I’m always trying to do things better and get better at everything.”
From the horse's mouth, he's a big hitter and speedy player. If that's not enough, we'll take his high school coach's word for it:
"Speaking as a head coach, he is a phenomenal player. He can play inside and he can play outside at the linebacker position. He covers a lot of ground, he is smart, and he can make the checks. He is a thumper. When he gets there he makes an impact. When he tackles kids, they stay tackled. Plus he carries a 3.9 GPA and is a great man off the field. I think all that makes him a great football player and a great young man."
Now, to be fair, said high school coach is also his uncle, Tom Bolden. However, he echoes the same things: vocal, speedy, big hitter. Scout's Allen Trieu also talks about Joe:
"He has very good size, and he's a tough, hard-nosed football player," Trieu stated. "He's a classic, throwback type linebacker, but he's not just a run stuffer. He runs well and shows good ability in coverage. I think he can be an every-down linebacker and that's why so many schools are after him... Put that all together and he has a shot at playing early and often."
That's a raving review for a guy that doesn't even make Scout's top 25 outside linebackers.
He's also a multi-sport athlete, as ESPN points out that he's a baseball player as well.
Joe has the offers of a mid-to-high BCS-caliber prospect. Arizona, Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, NC State, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue, South Florida, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia were his BCS conference offers.
So he doesn't exactly have offers from the Ohio States, Floridas, Alabamas, and USCs of the world, but "Penn State linebacker" is an offer with nearly as much cachet as "USC Pro-style QB" or "Wisconsin offensive lineman." This is a Big Get.
Scout has junior numbers :
Joe Bolden finished [with] 90 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. He says he has a 32-inch vertical jump. Bolden may also play college baseball. He’s an outfielder (.300 batting average, three home runs).
FAKE 40 TIME
None of the premium sites have 40 times, which means an automatic five FAKEs out of five.
ScoutingOhio provides an abbreviated junior highlight:
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Joe seems like a very good athlete, and one who is pretty polished as a high schooler. That may sound like a recipe for early playing time, but Michigan landed a big linebacker class in 2011, and already has 3 in this year's crop, so he might not be needed, unless he gets some special team time in the Brian Cook Memorial Wasted Redshirt Year. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
Following a redshirt season, he'll get that special teams time, and a little bit of time as a backup in the rotation. By the time he's a senior, I think Bolden could have All-League potential, and be a mid-round NFL Draft pick.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
That's 3 linebackers, after Michigan landed as many as 6 last year. Brady Hoke and company are probably going to have to start slowing down on linebackers and focus on other positions (or phrased a different way, they have the luxury to do so). They might be willing to take one more elite 'backer, pending the final positions for some of last year's guys, but it would have to be a truly top prospect.
As for the rest of the class, offensive and defensive lines are still priorities. A quarterback, wideout, and safety would be nice as well. After those needs are filled, they can really focus in on top-top talent regardless of position with the final scholarship slots.
its been a Notre Dame hot bed for many years, lots of jesuit high schools, Moeller, St. X. Bolden is from public Colerain.
one of the many reasons i love my city. cincys a bit different from the rest of the state
TomVH -- You gotta convince these recruits to stop committing right before the weekend. Right as I think I'm done writing for the week...
Wait, am I complaining about new football commits? I'll stop now. Welcome, Joe!
So, I should expect another linebacker to turn blue sometime today. Keeping up with the trend. Great!
I'm nervously wondering if I should get started on Hello posts for any other linebackers Michigan has a shot with.
You gotta think if Ross or Rippy or any other LB is seriously interested, then they're gonna be on the phone to Hoke or Mattison soon. And we may indeed see another (likely the last if not full arlready) LB commit this coming week or even this weekend. It's hard to remember almost that only like 5 weeks ago we had nobody committed. We're closing in on half full!
Rippy isn't coming here, according to Josh Helmholdt.
Thats cool I want Ross anyways
Once we lost out on Pike I think we lost out on Rippy.
Helmholdt made that comment about Rippy even before Pike committed to Auburn.
What do you suppose the different ways God told him to go Michigan were?
Maybe God mentioned 127, which Bolden could take either all the way to Jackson or to US 12 and up through Saline. However, I suspect God tends to fly, and there are regular flights on Delta at least from Cincy to DTW. Myself, I wouldn't recommend that, as the Cincy airport is actually in Kentucky and I avoid Kentucky whenever possible.
I am certainly enjoying the new 4* mafia. May its reign be long and fruitful.
Bob Dylan knows how God operates:
God said to Mattison,"go recruit me an Ohioan"
Mattison said "you must be puttin' me on"
God said "Matt"
Matt said "what"
God said, "you can do what you want Matt but... next time you see me comin' you better run"
Matt said, "where you want this Ohio recrutin' done"?
God said, " down by Highway 71"
Down by highway 71? So, only Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland areas? That's almost every recruit in Ohio.
Between last year's class and this one, I feel far better about our linebacking than I have for many years. We're finally going to have guys playing linebacker who played a lot of the position in H.S. and have talent. The last 3-4 years linebacking have been pretty tough to watch. I doubt we can take any more this year unless it's a James Ross or someone of that caliber.
or Eric Brackins?
I actually liked both of those guys alot....
Of course, I like pretty much everybody that plays for Michigan, so that doesn't really say much.
I liked both of them - and knew one of them personally - but they were just average football players. I think Bolden has higher upside than both.
Colerain might play Sycamore this year so theres a chance to see some recruits in one game
to plunder Ohio for recruits is working very well, thank you very much.
So Ron Thompson May 11th
Godin May 12th
any other announcements on the horizon??
Personally, I'm looking forward to the announcement that Jim Tressel has been fired.
I'm not sure of the date yet, though.
I drew a Block M in an undisclosed location on OSU's campus today. Bahahahahaha!!!
I think it is the Administration trying to be Prideful. They said they not firing him, so they are holding out.
Makes them look worse and childish. Did you read the article with Eddie George's comments?
of watching generally weak linebacker play, the last class and this one certainly hold the promise of future excellence at the position. Great to see. Now get a couple O-lineman and D-tackles.
I hope BiG Will can get his moter running.
Can you imagine the havic he can bring if he gets it going?
I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt that "havic" was a typo, since the keys actually are next to each other.
Great news on a beautiful day!
We can has smart 4* LB. Yay!
It just so happens that I was in Cincinnati last night and today. I believe my Blue Trailblazer with Maize Pinstripe and Block M license plates are what helped convince Joe to Go Blue.
Also, the most impressive aspect of the short highlight film was his read, react, and drop on the interception. He immediately looked up the receiver and recognized the route. Good coaching/good playing.
Welcome aboard Joe. Bring all your buddies.
i hope we can also get Steve Italic and Eric Underline
also could have gone with: Can we get him to change his name to Bold-M?
Can't wait to see you in a winged helmet!
Best of luck to you on the football field! I'm sure we'll see you starting in a year or two. Sounds like you will become a great leader on the defense. You will also receive a top notch education at Michigan. It will be interesting to see what you decide to major in? Engineering? Pre-med?
Great news. Who knows where this class will end up being ranked but it's shaping up to be a good one. If it hasn't been proven already, Coach Mattison's effect on recruiting is invaluable (obvious statement is obvious). Once we start building up some momentum on the field, it will be difficult not to imagine top 10 (maybe even top 5) classes being a regular occurrence. I'm looking forward to seeing this class fill out...the first class is always important.
Regardless of football, sounds like Mr Bolden will do great things and be an excellent representative of the University.
He sounds like a guru approved version of Jake Ryan - similar position and size, both heady white kids from traditional football powerhouses in Ohio who understand the position well and like to lay the wood.
We could have a lot of grit with Bolden and Ryan in our LB corps.
I enjoy laying wood, as well as the pipe.
Can Bolden play the SAM like Ryan?
Hello Joe Bolden! Love these Friday commits to get the weekend started!
Well then, welcome home Joe Bolden!
Reading this and Tom's post, this kid has his head on straight and is team captain material. Hard to say about a Junior in HS, but seems like a great pick-up. Congrats and welcome Joe.